A significant incident has been announced following a leak of approximately 200 barrels of reservoir fluid into Poole Harbour, Dorset, resulting in a large quantity of oil in the water.
The leak happened on Sunday, just before 2 pm, at a pipeline managed by Perenco, under Owers Bay, according to Poole Harbour Commissioners (PHC).
The public has been urged to avoid swimming in Poole Harbour and its surrounding areas until further notice.
Those who come into contact with the spill should wash with soap and water immediately.
PHC has implemented its oil spill plan and is receiving support from various organizations, including companies specializing in oil spill response.
The commissioners are currently assessing the situation, and reports indicate that the affected pipeline has been shut down, with booms installed on either side of the leak.
The Environment Agency has received reports of a large quantity of oil in the harbor, and Dorset Police were informed of the environmental incident at 1:43 pm on Sunday.
In a statement, PHC said that Perenco had engaged Oil Spill Response Ltd, and PHC has mobilized Adler and Allen to assist with the incident. These companies are oil spill, response specialists.
A major incident has been declared, and a gold command unit has been established.
Dorset Police, Bournemouth, Christchurch, Poole council, and the Environment Agency support PHC and other agencies in addressing the incident.
Perenco UK’s incident management team was activated after the leak was detected.
Franck Dy, Perenco UK’s Wytch Farm General Manager, stated that any spill is extremely serious, and a full investigation will be launched to determine what happened in Poole Harbour.
However, he emphasized that the situation was under control, the fluid discharge had been stopped, and the spill had been contained.